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Thread: Solar Cover in SWFL

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    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Ft Myers fl
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    Solar Cover in SWFL

    Hi all, I am in SWFL. I hear my people pool all winter with a electric heat pump only. I keep it covered w a 16mil blanket to retain heat. I am wondering how to decide when to stop using the cover. Are there any calculations or rules of thumb? The outside temp is starting to warm. Thanks.
    15k gallon roman gunite w pebble finish. Cartridge
    Hayward max flo vs. Hayward t9 SWG
    GulfStean m Heat Pump

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    needsajet's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Cover in SWFL

    Nice to meet you via TFP

    It's a bit of a judgement call, but if it's full sun with sun high in the sky, and not too windy, you gain more heat from the sun than the heat you lose to evaporation.

    You can get a feel for it by trying it with and without the cover for few days each under reasonably similar weather conditions. If you record your morning and evening temps, with the heat pump either running 24/7 or turned off, you'll get a feel for what works.
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, K-1106 and CCL test kits; Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWCG 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; Other family pools 10K SWCG and 15K on liquid; PoolMath app subscriber; | Tips for New Members to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    BasicTek's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Cover in SWFL

    It's the overnight lows that will have the most affect on the pool temp, you can use a tool like weather underground history to get an idea (February average low in FT myers is 60) so your current temps are about 5 above average. I use solar to warm up my pool and when the overnight lows stay above 65 I don't need a cover (last year that around April for me probably sooner for you). It's different with solar as I can't heat my pool as quickly as you, and I don't have much of a bill for heating it all day. The cover serves it's purpose mostly at night and I guess it's up to you how much you are willing to spend on heating it vs the pain of putting the cover on and off overnight...
    -Tim-
    Pool: 86 gunite/plaster screened IG 12K 14' X 29', Hayward 120 sq ft cartridge filter, Pentair Intelliflo 2 VST, Hayward SwimPure 40K SWCG, Hayward Poolvergnuegen autovac,
    Heat: 280 sq ft Ultrasun solar Panels, Pentair Solartouch Ctrl, (solar cover and reel)
    Tests: Taylor K-2006C & K-1766 w/ speedstir

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    needsajet's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Cover in SWFL

    I was assuming you would always have the cover on when it's dark. Thanks for adding that, Tim. I thought it was about sunny day removal. Too frugal I am. Don't underestimate evaporation heat loss
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, K-1106 and CCL test kits; Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWCG 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; Other family pools 10K SWCG and 15K on liquid; PoolMath app subscriber; | Tips for New Members to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    BasicTek's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Cover in SWFL

    Quote Originally Posted by needsajet View Post
    I was assuming you would always have the cover on when it's dark. Thanks for adding that, Tim. I thought it was about sunny day removal. Too frugal I am. Don't underestimate evaporation heat loss
    I could be wrong too, but for me, I can't wait to get the cover off for the summer, that is a good point when it's not rainy season even if it is warm enough I ended up needing to fill my pool quite a bit last april as we were in a drought...
    -Tim-
    Pool: 86 gunite/plaster screened IG 12K 14' X 29', Hayward 120 sq ft cartridge filter, Pentair Intelliflo 2 VST, Hayward SwimPure 40K SWCG, Hayward Poolvergnuegen autovac,
    Heat: 280 sq ft Ultrasun solar Panels, Pentair Solartouch Ctrl, (solar cover and reel)
    Tests: Taylor K-2006C & K-1766 w/ speedstir

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    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Ft Myers fl
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    8

    Re: Solar Cover in SWFL

    Thanks. In 2-3 weeks I will leave it off and track heat loss overnight. I’ll let y’all know what happe s.
    15k gallon roman gunite w pebble finish. Cartridge
    Hayward max flo vs. Hayward t9 SWG
    GulfStean m Heat Pump

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    BasicTek's Avatar
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    Oct 2016
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    Re: Solar Cover in SWFL

    On this topic, I left mine off this weekend and still managed to reach highs of 90, lows never below 84, but later this week we will be dropping to 70's during the day and low 50's overnight so the cover will be back. The air temp was mid to high 80's and mid to high 60's overnight.

    If I had kept the cover on I could have had highs in around 94 and lows not lower than 88
    -Tim-
    Pool: 86 gunite/plaster screened IG 12K 14' X 29', Hayward 120 sq ft cartridge filter, Pentair Intelliflo 2 VST, Hayward SwimPure 40K SWCG, Hayward Poolvergnuegen autovac,
    Heat: 280 sq ft Ultrasun solar Panels, Pentair Solartouch Ctrl, (solar cover and reel)
    Tests: Taylor K-2006C & K-1766 w/ speedstir

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